It was ten minutes before lunch yesterday when I was asked into the department coordinator’s office. One of the English faculty was leaving staff – almost immediately – and I was being assigned her classes for, at minimum, a week but more likely through the end of my internship on the 23rd.
The teacher left behind lesson notes through Friday and little else. Once she cleaned out her desk, we saw stacks of ungraded papers, and other details that require attention. There were no notes pointing me in a direction and I had just a few hours to prep.
Today I begin working with three 10th grade English and two World Literature classes. Thankfully, one of them dropped, so I got to ease into things. Once the kids picked up their jaws, we got to work. During my two off periods I spent time with the Special Ed teachers coming up to speed on the students in my classes who have IEP plans and what they knew about direction. I also spent time speaking with my cooperating teacher, getting her advice on how to finish the days before Christmas break.
I’ve been given a room key and access to the Aspen grading system, being treated like I’ll be in place for the duration – even though it’s a mere two and a half weeks. What comes next for the students is anyone’s guess. Me, I will complete the internship and return to Darien in January for the start of my student teaching.
There are certainly plenty of advantages to being thrown into the fire like this. It means I can immediately put my lessons into practice, get some classroom time under my belt before getting refined by my cooperating teacher, and with luck, make a good impression on the students and administration.
So, I sit here tonight, not relaxing with a magazine but finalizing a presentation on Cervantes and Don Quixote so we can begin the class as scheduled.
Exciting times ahead.